Inverse psoriasis can be difficult to treat because of the high sensitivity of intertriginous areas to cutaneous side effects, such as irritation and striae. Pimecrolimus, a well-tolerated, nonatrophogenic, skin-selective inflammatory cytokine inhibitor, has been shown to be effective in the treatment of psoriasis when applied topically under occlusion.
This study evaluated the efficacy and safety of pimecrolimus cream 1% versus vehicle twice a day in the treatment of inverse psoriasis. Methods This was a double-blind, randomized, vehicle-controlled study in 57 patients with moderate to severe inverse psoriasis. Patients were evaluated using Investigator's Global Assessment of overall severity, Target Area Score, and Patient Self-Assessment.
A significant between-group difference was observed early on, with 54% of the pimecrolimus group versus 21% of the vehicle group having an Investigator's Global Assessment score of 0 or 1 (clear or almost clear) at week 2 (P = .0169). By week 8, 71% of the pimecrolimus group had an Investigator's Global Assessment score of 0 or 1. Change from baseline in Target Area Score was -2.4 (pimecrolimus group) compared with -0.7 (vehicle) at day 3 (P < .0001). By week 8, 82% of patients using pimecrolimus scored their disease as well or completely controlled versus 41% of the vehicle group (P = .0007). Adverse events were similar between groups.
Pimecrolimus cream 1% is an effective treatment for inverse psoriasis with a rapid onset of action, and is safe and well-tolerated.